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MS Newsgroups are on the way out..
Mike's Window

Mike's 'unwanted additions' warning service..

ATI graphics drivers for HD5000 and better will install an exceedingly annoying game enhancement addon called Raptr UNLESS you take the custom install route and UNCHECK it

Foxit Reader (good) is currently attaching Search Protect by Conduit (not good). Uncheck the option because it is a pest.

Java (marginal, but a necessary evil for far too many things) is attaching the Ask Toolbar and associated junk. Uncheck it if you value decent Internet searches.. . 

ImgBurn (Good), but you have to be on your toes to stop the unwanted stuff. Basically, uncheck anything that isn't for ImgBurn, and go for the custom install each time that it is offered to you to ensure that you get to uncheck and skip the junk.. 

A commonly held 'view.. '

 "Well, it worked in Windows 95!"

MVP Award years

2005 - 2006 - 2007

2008 - 2009 - 2010

2011 - 2012 - 2013


The original MVP logo

My Favourite Utilities

Speedfan is a great hardware monitor which can automatically control fan speeds, warn when temperatures are rising in the case, and do a SMART scan of your hard drives. A 'must have'.. 

Piriform Speccy tells you what is inside the box and with great accuracy..

Networx shows download/upload bandwidth used..

Piriform Recuva is probably the best file recovery utility around and is free too.. 

Treesize shows you what you have got, where it is, and how much space it is all using..

Windows 8 alternative start menus.. Classic Shell..

Stardock Start8..

Aomei Partition Assistant is the best free utility of its type..


Microsoft will start with newsgroups which have virtually no traffic anymore. Notices will be put out regularly and directions will be given to the relevant Microsoft forum. For those who do not like the forum interface, Microsoft have been working on the NNTP Bridge which presents an NNTP interface to the user via Windows Live Mail and other newsreaders.

The NNTP Bridge is still a work in progress, but it works reasonably well in Windows Live Mail, and can be downloaded from this link.

I am using both the forum interface and the NNTP Bridge with a preference for the latter.

In some ways, I will be sorry to see them go. For anybody wanting to help others online, they were the easiest, quickest way to put out answers to questions. All Windows computers in latter years had a newsreader in the form of Outlook Express, Windows Mail and Windows Live Mail, and if a person wanted something else, there were other third party readers. It was all so easy..

Unfortunately, some of the MS newsgroups were plagued with those who only seeked  to disturb and disrupt. Notable groups were XP General, IE7, Access and Vista General. The only newsgroups which were worse were prefixed ‘ALT.OS’

The trolls would have one believe that the ‘General’ in the name gave them the right to more or less post anything as long as it was posted using the operating system in the name of the group. Linux users (allegedly), not the professional type but those who just wanted to stick a knife in the side of Microsoft, used it to promote misinformation about Windows and, curiously, Linux too. I say ‘curiously’ but the truth is that these users knew less than nothing about Linux for the most part. 

There is no doubt in my mind that the above was a contributing factor to the above, but Microsoft also wanted to bring all online support under their wing and present a unified face across public, MSDN and TechNet help groups.

It is the end of an era of which I was a part. Time to move on or move out. See you in the forums.. :-)

Posted Wed, May 5 2010 16:21 by Mike Hall
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